sending mail

The other day I was asked to explain what it is that goes from one life to another, when it is not the mind (which is certain that it is not) nor a soul, nor consciousness.


I could not answer so I said: ‘I don’t know. It is as clear and yet mysterious to me as how one email gets from my computer to another, without wire, through clouds or whatever. The text I write is transformed into codes and those miraculously get into the other computer through the air, in waves, as energy, … There are people who understand, to whom it is not a miracle that this is possible because they know, they have direct knowledge. I only know that it is possible, both, the email from one computer to another and the transition from one life into the next.’


I said some knowledgeable sounding things about bhavanga citta and sota bhavanga, often translated as subconscious (sometimes unconscious but that doesn’t make much sense to me) and life stream and about javana. May be I ponder more over those soon and then write more about it. To me it makes total sense but it is as I would talk about bits and bites.


One thing I often remember when being asked about next lifes is a documentary I once saw about the arctic stream. They showed places all around the world from where the stream passes by. In the arctic (Greenland if I am not mistaken) they showed a caterpillar. This little one comes out as caterpillar for about 3 months, eats what it can get, then falls asleep, gets frosted and defrosts next year for 3 months again. It does this for about 14 years, it is so to say revived for 14 years as a caterpillar until it finally in its last year becomes a butterfly. This little creature probably does not know what is going on and whether it was before or will be again, it just does what is to do. In its case eating and then finding a niche to sleep where it will be frozen but not killed. Funny little thing. Are we much different from it? 



  1. One day you should read some books by Carl Sagan, a famous scientist. Or you can listen to one of his books on you tube. He explains why you and the way you think is basically misguided. I am unable to do so but he can.

    • Misguided in what sense? In being a Buddhist? In thinking becoming enlightened is possible, or metta and the other paramies when developped can change a person and the world? Or with the mistery of how one email gets into another? 🙂

  2. In your analogy between the email and rebirth. It can only take you so far, not to the truth. The fact is that while you and i may not understand how email works, there are people who do and they can demonstrate it to us. And we have the evidence that it works all around us for all to see. No its good to be a buddhist. I won’t go into enlightenment because all sorts of other things need to be clarified about what you mean by it. So no i don’t mean that. Metta is great and so are the paramies. The fact is that science is the best understanding we have of the world and its the only system that takes human error into consideration. As Carl Sagan said, it is the best method we have of predicting the future. It is the best method we have of curing ailments. Its the best method we have of developing the world. Its not a moral system. Anyway i think it would just be useful for you to read some of his words. It is the only method that accepts real criticism. Its the only progressive method of knowledge.

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